Once everyone had walked, Sophia and Grant descended the stairs on either side of Villa Philbrook’s galleries. “We met in the middle, took one another’s hands, and together we walked into our wedding,” Sophia says. “As we got up to the aisle, we slowed to look at everyone there—our friends and loved ones. It was such a sight to behold. And then up the aisle we went, to meet our emcee, longtime best friend, and prolific author Jedidiah Jenkins.”
The couple asked Jedidiah to speak about community. The couples’ friend, activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham, was also called up first to read her piece, Freedom Is a Community Project, written for the John Lewis flag. Next, Sophia and Grant’s relationship coach, Laurie Gerber, officiated the couples’ vows. Laurie spoke of her work with the couple, who completed her multiyear marriage prep course in a matter of months, and how theirs would be a teaching marriage because they personify her creed that love is, in fact, a verb.
“I have truly never felt so much positivity at once, so much clarity,” Sophia says of the ceremony. “As a person who suffers anxiety, it felt incredible to experience a sheer absence of it. I couldn’t stop smiling.”
The couple entered the reception and began their first dance to friend Jack Garratt playing a rendition of Sunday Kind of Love by Etta James, backed by the band. Sophia knew there would come a time during the evening when she’d want to change into something sleeker. “My gown was exquisite but also took up a lot of space, and we had dancing to do!” she says. “So Kevin and I worked with Emilia Wickstead to create the second dress. She has long been one of my favorite designers, and I had just worn her to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”
The designer sketched multiple options for the bride, and they settled on a strapless gown in an ivory textured cloqué with a detachable train—which Sophia and Kevin dubbed “the waist cape”—that perfectly hit the floor, creating a waterfall below the hemline of the dress. “We sent her imagery of my Monique gown, and she sourced an incredible floral brocade silk to line the inside of my waist cape, to iterate on the floral theme,” Sophia explains. “And we dyed a pair of satin Jimmy Choo heels to match the ivory shade and stitched two matching brooches from Beladora Jewelry—sewn on by Grant’s best man!—to the corners where the cape attached to the back of the gown. Matthew had taken my hair down for our first dance, and we let it be for the change.”
At the after-party at Leon Russell’s Church Studio, Justin Boreta spun dance music all night. Matching all the disco balls that the couple had installed for the occasion, Sophia changed into a Cristina Ottaviano minidress. Paired with ivory and silver cowboy boots, it was the perfect dress for dancing until 5 a.m. “I swapped into another pair of vintage diamond earrings from Briony Raymond that looked like midcentury starbursts, and Matthew tied my hair half up in a velvet ribbon,” Sophia says. “I felt very country-western glam!”
As for the wedding registry? Bush and Hughes turned that tradition into a moment of giving as well, launching the Bush Hughes Foundation for Progress to raise money and awareness for organizations advancing progress and justice in Tulsa.